Next time, just buy a Mac

A loyal Bush investigator under investigation himself calls Geeks on Call to erase his hard drive.

By Tim Grieve
November 28, 2007 5:33PM (UTC)
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Somewhere in a file cabinet somewhere, we have a memento from our days as a local police reporter. It's a Polaroid photograph of a thief -- one he snapped of himself and accidentally left behind in the process of stealing a camera from a parked car.

Somehow, we thought of that fellow this morning.


The Wall Street Journal reports that Scott Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel who is investigating Karl Rove while simultaneously under investigation himself, last year asked Geeks on Call to come to his office and erase data from the hard drive of his office computer and two laptops that had been used by his political deputies.

Bloch tells the Journal that he was just trying to get rid of a virus that was attacking his computer. But records show that Geeks on Call performed a "seven-level wipe" -- a process that makes it "nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later" and one that Geeks on Call's Jeff Phelps says his geeks don't use to eradicate viruses.

Bloch insists that Geeks on Call didn't erase any documents related to any investigation -- and by that, we assume he means both his investigation into whether Rove used government agencies to reelect Republicans to Congress in 2006 and the Office of Personnel Management's investigation into whether Bloch mishandled whistle-blower cases he was supposed to be investigating.


A few questions we'd like to see answered: If Bloch had a virus on his computer, why didn't he call on the government's own tech folks to deal with it? Why was it necessary to scrub not just his computer but also the laptops of his former deputies? And finally, what, exactly, is on the "encrypted flash drive" the Journal says Bloch bought from Geeks on Call?

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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